Generator Fuel Consumption & Tips on Optimize Generator Runtime

By | 30.11.2016

While fuel generator consumption, efficiency, and runtimes vary depending on many factors, the following are tried and tested recommended tips on how to minimize fuel consumption and maximize runtime. Buy as many rechargeable appliances as possible, and you’ll reduce the time your generator is supporting devices while running. You’ll also take advantage of the high efficiency of such devices. Another strategy is to turn off your generator when not using it. Many users tend to forget, and hence leave them running thereby increasing significantly generator fuel consumption; every bit of fuel is precious. Also make a habit of charging rechargeable electrics when the generator is supporting other appliances, as opposed to starting the generator primarily to recharge the devices.

Generator Fuel Consumption

The types of fuels used by the portable small-type generator are gasoline, diesel, natural gas and propane. Below are consumption rates of the various types of fuel. Note, though that Generator Fuel Consumption, Generator Runtime, and Generator Efficiency vary a bit depending on other variables like prevailing climate and the brand. Therefore, the illustration below only gives rough estimates.

1. Natural Gas

Many homes have a ready tank designated to supply natural gas, the fuel most convenient means to fuel your generator. Natural gas is simpler to store besides being deliverable straight to your door. It is compact, for instance, A 20 kW generator uses approximately 289 cubed feet per hour (ft³/h). Any generator whose output is lower than 20 kW uses an even smaller volume of fuel.

2. Diesel

While there are few diesel powered generators, the few that exist tend to be more efficient compared to those powered by gasoline. Diesel is less flammable of all fuel types that exist and is less costly to operate. For instance, a 20 kW generator uses approximately 1.6 gallons every hour at full load. Consequently, since a generator is most efficient at half load, if you are using your 20 kW at half load, it will consume about 1.0 gallon. Thus, if you are shopping for a portable generator, settle for one powered by diesel for better run times.

3. Gasoline

Gasoline is a common fuel source since it is easy to obtain. However, it is highly flammable besides being unsafe to store particularly in large quantities. Their prices are slightly high and less efficient to use to power a generator; especially if you’re using it for extended periods of time. The reason most generators run on gasoline is purely out of convenience and necessity. A 500 W generator consumes about 18 Gal of the fuel per 20 h period. If therefore, you are using the generator round the clock, you only need 22 gallons of gasoline fuel.

4. Propane

Propane generator fuel consumption is one of the most efficient. Additionally, propane has an impressive shelf life, is easily stored both in huge and small tanks and delivers clean-burning. Home delivery is also possible, making the fuel not only handy to use but also convenient. Propane is a lot more affordable per gallon but burns more quickly. For instance, a 20 kW generator uses around 3.44 gal per hour.

Four ways to optimize generator runtime

  • Plan carefully the duration you’ll operate your generator while utilizing maximum electricity; running a high output generator when you’re using few watts results in a bad runtime.
  • Invest in rechargeable devices and charge them while your generator is powering other appliances. Rechargeable devices are more efficient than the standard devices utilizing conventional alkaline batteries.
  • A running generator uses fuel, and as such you should always turn off your generator whenever you are not using it. While this tip may sound obvious, habitually executing it is hard. Always shut off your generator when not using, however, short the duration may be.
  • Avoid using large deep cycle batteries and set up things in such a way that whenever your generator is running, it charges the batteries. Once your generator is off, the battery bank comfortably supports the appliances.

Any of the above four generator fuels can be used to power a generator. Opt for the unit whose fuel requirement is readily available, affordable and most convenient to you. Furthermore, depending on your planned use of the unit, consider all the info the supplier gives you before making up your mind. The type of fuel readily available to you also determines the type of generator you can buy.Finally, adopt the above expertly recommended tips to maximize the runtime your generator and optimize its fuel consumption.

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